(Bureau of Land Management Photo)
On August 10, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt signed Secretary’s Order (SO) 3382 to formally establish the Headquarters Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Grand Junction, Colorado. The move ends the multi-year process proposed by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and supported by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO).
“This relocation strengthens our relationship with communities in the West by ensuring decision makers are living and working closer to the lands they manage for the American people. This effort will also save a great deal of money that can be reinvested in our field operations,” said Secretary Bernhardt.
It is expected that most of the federal staff relocating to Mesa County from the nation’s capital will be on the job by the end of August.
As a result of the recent passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt established the Great American Outdoors Act Coordination and Implementation Task Force to implement the Department of the Interior’s portion of the GAOA. The landmark conservation legislation will use royalties from offshore oil and gas drilling to provide up to $1.9 billion per year for five years to repair critical facilities and infrastructure in our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, recreation areas, and American Indian schools. It will also permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund to the tune of $900 million per year to invest in conservation and recreation opportunities across the country. Preliminary conversations with the U.S. Forest Service with regard to the maintenance backlogs indicate that if done correctly, the backlog issue could eliminate the recreation backlog on the forest service landscape within five years.
The Secretary’s Order 3383 establishes the task force, which shall:
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking input on proposed plans for improved access to ATV/UTV routes and trails in and around the Northern Highland – American Legion State Forest. By enhancing access, the DNR could designate 1.4 miles of ATV/UTV routes on DNR roads within the state forest. DNR roads proposed for ATV/UTV route designation in the towns of Sugar Camp and Woodruff would, in conjunction with routes on local and county roads, contribute to a system of ATV/UTV routes through the forest that connects communities and provide additional recreation opportunities.
With more than 900 lakes and 236,000 acres within its boundaries, the Northern Highland – American Legion State Forest provides a variety of opportunities to outdoor recreation enthusiasts. The forest is spread across three counties near the towns of Woodruff, Minocqua, and Boulder Junction. The ATV/UTV routes are being planned through the master plan variance process. This variance proposal accompanies an October 2017 amendment to the recreation portion of the State Forest’s 2005 Master Plan and a subsequent variance approved in 2018. The 2017 amendment authorized up to 202 miles of ATV/UTV routes to be planned on existing DNR roads and trails. Approximately 51 miles have been previously planned. If this variance is approved, approximately 70 total miles of ATV/UTV routes have been planned in the Northern Highland – American Legion State Forest.
The public can review the draft variance, maps that show the proposed and previously planned routes, and submit comments here. Questions or comments should be submitted by September 11, 2020.
Questions or comments can also be submitted to Phil Rynish, DNR Property Planner, via email at Phillip.Rynish@wisconsin.gov, or mail at Wisconsin DNR; Attn: Phil Rynish; PO Box 7921; Madison, WI 53707-7921.
NOHVCC is providing the opportunity for OHV enthusiasts to view past webinars. NOHVCC has covered a number of insightful topics that have been well received by the outdoor recreation community.
Click here to watch the videos (login required, but registration is free). You can also access the “Webinar Archive” on nohvcc.org through the hamburger menu at the top of the webpage.
As states continue to reopen, they are increasing recreational access to roads, trails, picnic areas, restrooms, and wilderness. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) continues to work with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and use a phased approach to increase access on a case-by-case basis. The following recreational area reopened in August:
According to BLM, dry conditions due to a lack of precipitation this spring, above normal temperatures, and mats of unburnt fuel from last year are resulting in an above-normal fire potential. BLM issued fire restrictions to the following areas:
BLM has issued temporary closures for:
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